Living Ventures are behind some of the most exciting restaurants I have visited, including two of my favourites, The Alchemist and Gusto. Living Ventures opened Grand Pacific on Kings Street to the public in March 2017 after moving from Spinningfields. Some of you may recognise the location and building, with it formerly being The Reform Club.
Grand Pacific boasts a luxurious and colonial theme and much of the décor has been preserved with it being grade II listed and rightly so. From the fine wooden staircase, to the grand dining room, you feel as if you have stepped back in time. Not to mention the string quartet who make the experience even more relaxing, filtering out the overbearing sound of conversation and noise you can sometimes experience in other restaurants and bars.
I visited Grand Pacific for High Tea, which some would call Afternoon Tea. But you may be surprised to know there is a difference. I’ll leave you to do the research though, as I know you are probably reading this thinking, I wish he would just tell me about the food already!
Don’t worry, I’m getting to the best part now.
Now, the online menu lists the Sparkling Rose Tea at £29 per person and the Champagne Tea at £30 per person. However, in the final bill, the prices were actually £27 and £28. I presume the online menu just needs updating but either way, it’s always nice to save yourself money.
My girlfriend chose the Sparkling Rose Tea and I chose the Champagne Tea. The only difference between the two is, the Champagne Tea is served with a glass of Moët & Chandon and the Sparkling Rose Tea is served with a glass of Chandon Rosé. The food itself, remains the same but I have read the restaurant will cater for changes if you don’t like a particular sandwich for example (don’t quote me on this!). But I would honestly recommend trying everything, even if you think you won’t like it, as I believe you will be pleasantly surprised.
Lucasz, our waiter was very friendly, knowledgeable and attentive. He offered us water upon arrival and made sure our glasses were never empty from start to finish.
Note: The water is not complementary. I’m not sure why people get the impression that it would be anyway but it will only cost you £3.85 between two.
Lucasz also talked us through the savoury and sweet selection when the food was brought out, even recommending the best way to eat the food. This was particularly helpful in regards to the spoon of marinated tuna and salmon tartare, as I would have definitely of made a mess.
My two favourite’s from the savoury selection were the crumpet with Cornish crab butter and the Eccles cake with creamy Lancashire cheese. But I was pleasantly surprised by the marinated tuna and salmon tartare, as I had never tried the two together before. Salmon isn’t up there with my favourite foods so I wouldn’t eat it outside of a restaurant but for those that love it, you’d really enjoy the smoked salmon potato cake.
The sweet selection. Where do I start? Save the chocolate truffle until last. The truffle was coated in cocoa powder and the moment you took a bite, it just melted in your mouth. The passion fruit crème brûlée was also really nice. We were given a sesame biscuit although it isn’t listed on the sweet selection menu. So we decided to combine the two by dipping the sesame biscuit in the passion fruit crème brûlée. It worked a treat.
As we went on a Sunday afternoon, we were able to see the Sunday roast first hand. The chef wheeled the chosen meat out (either roast English topside of beef or roast chicken) and carved it at the table onto the plate. I will definitely be coming back to try this. I have included a picture of the Sunday roast menu below, so you can decide whether it’s something you would be interested in too.
DRINKS INCLUDED WITH HIGH TEA
All of the High Tea options come with a loose leaf tea range. I’m more of a coffee lover so I just had the English Breakfast and my girlfriend chose Earl Grey. But for those that do love tea, there are definitely some that sound great such as the red berry and rose.
Also included in our High Tea was a glass of Moët & Chandon and Chandon Rosé. But if you aren’t a champagne lover, just choose the standard High Tea and order your own cocktails or non-alcoholic drinks separately.
The two cocktails we tried were Baked Banana and Salted Caramel Espresso Martini.
The Baked Banana consisted of Bacardi Carta Blanca, banana liqueur and syrup topped with baked banana foam and cinnamon. So if you love banana’s, this is definitely the drink for you and one I would certainly recommend. The Salted Caramel Espresso Martini is made up of Carnation Caramel, Koko Kanu, espresso and a touch of Malden sea salt. This cocktail worked perfectly after High Tea and would go well after any meal or even as a replacement for dessert. Both options cost £9, which I think is good value for money, as it is becoming more common to see a single cocktail priced at over £20… Hefty, right?
We didn’t try any other cocktails but if we had of stayed any longer, I think the Rose & Lychee Martini would have been my next choice (Tanqueray, lychee and rose liqueur, lychee purée and lemon juice – £9). As for my girlfriend, The Grand Pineapple was almost chosen (El Dorado 5 Year, Domain De Canton, Benedictine, pineapple juice, lime juice and chocolate bitters – £30). You see what I mean about those hefty price tags…
In all seriousness, you actually get a £20 refund if you don’t want to keep the golden pineapple the drink comes in. So really, this drink is only £10, unless you really need a pineapple which will most likely make its way to the back of your kitchen cupboard.
Sparkling Rose Tea – £27
Champagne Tea – £28
Water – £3.85
Baked Banana – £9
Salted Caramel Espresso Martini – £9
Food Total – £55
Drink Total – £21.85
Overall Cost – £76.85
RATINGS AND COMMENTS
Overall rating – 9/10
Value for money – 7.5/10
Service – 10/10
The only problem I had, was with the forbidden rice arancini with goat’s cheese being a little dry. Therefore, I’m unable to give Grand Pacific a full 10/10. In regards to value for money, it’s a difficult one to call. Are there cheaper places to go for High Tea? Yes. But will you get the same quality of ingredients and presentation? Probably not. It depends what you are looking for but if you don’t choose the champagne option and you just have the regular High Tea and no extra cocktails, then you will only spend £44. As mentioned earlier, the service was second to none.
WILL I RETURN
Yes, I would definitely have the High Tea again but as I recommended earlier, I want to try the Sunday roast as it looked amazing.
Address: 50 Spring Gardens, Manchester M2 1EN
Opening Times: 12pm-12am every day.
Please be aware:
- Hours may differ for bank holidays.
- High Tea is not available at any time in the day. So please check before booking with Grand Pacific.
- 10% service charge will be added to your bill for parties of 6 or more.